Just thinking about giving gifts for road trips makes me smile. Images from movies–involving convertibles, head scarves, and no traffic jams–come to mind. I figure the perfect gift will only make the experience even shinier.
These days, gifts for road trips run the full gamut: from simple (marketed as “retro”) to devices that practically drive for you. After all, even the best road trip has its dull stretches…as well as “I gotta pee” moments right after leaving the gas station.
Car Bingo: The classic road trip game! Long before there were DVD players, there was Car Bingo. Passengers actually looked out the window and tried to find the objects on the cards, hoping to spot the rare “S” curve before anyone else. It was fun, easy, and passed the hours. Every road trip should include a set of these cards. Period. Find a variety of these at amazon.com for about $10.
Portable Grill: Tired of greasy drive-thrus and pricey tourist spots? This nifty gas grill folds up to the size of a carry-on suitcase. Stop by a grocery store for supplies, then find a park or beach to relax and make your own meal. These times increase the Happy Factor. A grill will set you back about $150…but it’s also priceless. Pick one up at Walmart or your local home improvement store.
Neck Pillow: Part of any road trip includes napping, especially when crossing the endless miles of the Great Plains. Finding a comfortable position is easier when you have the proper neck support. The cool thing about a road trip is you don’t have to have a minimal or inflatable pillow. You can choose from many styles and colors. Get an excellent one–the one pictured here holds a phone or iPod–at your favorite travel store or at amazon.com for $40 or less.
Pee Bottle: We’ve all been there, with or without children. Go ahead and laugh, but gifts for road trips must include a way to “relieve” oneself in a handy and discreet manner. An Emergency Bottle can save the day. This one works for both males and females, although we all know men have the advantage in this situation. About $12, at a travel store, medical supply store, or amazon.com.
Roadside Kit: You knew this was going to be on the list. Any road tripper who doesn’t already have one will thank you for your thoughtful gift. The AAA Emergency Roadside Kit is essential. It has booster cables, first aid supplies, duct tape–and much, much more. The Premium Kit has 64 items and costs $40. There is a smaller kit for $25. But you really, really want them to have everything they need, right? Go for the Premium.
Buying gifts for road trips is one of my favorites. The options are endless! What else should we consider? What have been your favorite road trip items?
Need more ideas?